No charges against Justice ex-official
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Eric Holder has decided not to bring any criminal charges against a former Bush administration official who lawmakers said lied to them in sworn testimony.
An inspector general’s report found that Bradley Schlozman, the former head of the civil rights division, had misled lawmakers in sworn testimony about whether he politicized hiring decisions.
At his February confirmation hearing, Holder pledged he would review that decision to prosecute Schlozman when he took over the department, and promised to strengthen and rebuild the civil rights division.
Holder’s decision was revealed in a letter sent to lawmakers yesterday.
Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, who was one of Schlozman’s questioners at the original hearing and had urged Holder take a second look at the case, called the attorney general’s decision “very disappointing.’’
“Perjury is often a close call, but in this case it wasn’t. Mr. Schlozman was way over the line,’’ Schumer said.
In the letter to lawmakers, Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich said Holder oversaw an “extensive’’ review of the Schlozman matter.
Holder found the alleged conduct of Schlozman disturbing, but ultimately chose to defer to the prosecutors’ original decision not to bring charges, Weich wrote.
Schlozman resigned from the Justice Department in 2007, and went to work as a lawyer in private practice in Wichita, Kan.
His lawyer, Bill Jordan, said his client “is extremely pleased’’ by the attorney general’s decision, and called the original allegations in the report “grossly inaccurate and biased.’’